Books,  Celebrate Lit

Ain’t Misbehaving by Marji Laine


About the Book


Title: Ain’t Misbehaving

Author: Marji Laine

Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Fiction

Release Date: January 16, 2017

True, Annalee’s crime amounted to very little, but not in terms of community service hours. Her probation officer encouraged her with a promise of an easy job in an air conditioned downtown environment. She didn’t expect her role to be little better than a janitor at an after-school day care in the worst area of town. Through laughter and a few tears, Annalee finds out that some lessons are learned the hard way, and some seep into the soul unnoticed.

Carlton Whelen hides behind the nickname of CJ so people won’t treat him like the wealthy son of the Whelen Foundation director. Working at the foundations after-school program delights him and annoys his business-oriented father. When a gorgeous prima donna is assigned to his team, he not only cringes at her mistakes, but also has to avoid the attraction that builds from the first time he sees her.

My Thoughts:

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”  1 John 3:17 (ESV)

This verse from the Bible ran through my mind over and over, as I read this story.  It was such a good example of how to practically put this verse into action.

This was an enjoyable and compassionate story, a great mix of lessons.  It shows that you can be rich and miserable and poor and happy.  There are stereotypical rich people in this story, but Annalee and CJ, the two people that the story focuses on, do not fit the stereotype.  It depicts people misjudging and learning not to, it depicts people being gracious in the face of vengefulness.  It was one book that I truly wished to end happily, with all involved being changed by the example of young Annalee.  Sometimes wishes are granted, sometimes they are not.

For me, Annalee touched my heart, not only because she had a compassionate heart, but she was an artist.  She had a sketch pad with her all the time and had the constant “itch” to create.  Being rich and having no necessity for a job, she was able to do what any artist would love to do, but she ran into obstacles just like any of us creative people do.  She had confidence issues due to her mother being a snob, and trying to make her into her own clone, and didn’t take well to her daughter wanting to do art.  I got the impression that her dad may have just thought it was “cute” that she wanted to be an artist.  So, she didn’t have any solid parental encouragement.

I enjoyed the writing style, some very humorous descriptions, some kind of odd (in a good way), but many quite funny.  Of course, there was the zingy electricity stuff going on in the “romance department” which puts me off when it’s too much.  Unfortunately, I felt that part could have been less, and the writing could have gone into learning more about the children and the people at the center where Annalee and CJ worked.  The children were so endearing.

There was a lot going on in this and I think Marji handled it with excellence, everything flowed together very nicely, nothing seemed forced.  She’s truly a gifted writer and I’d love to see more about the people whose lives were helped and influenced by CJ and Annalee.  I would give it 5 stars if it didn’t have all the very typical metaphoric references to romantic feelings.

Click HERE to purchase Ain’t Misbehaving.

About the Author


Marji Laine has completed seventeen years of homeschooling with the surreal notion that she’ll now have time on her hands. But that’s unlikely. Her publishing company, Write Integrity Press, keeps her extremely busy. In her spare time, she teaches a high school and college Bible Study, leads a Sunday morning high school fellowship group, directs a children’s choir, and sings in her church’s adult choir.

She enjoys road trips with her family and friends, photography, scrapbooking, and participating in musical theater. Her favorite past time is game night with her family and her kids’ extended collection of friends.

Guest Post from Marji Laine

AIN’T MISBEHAVING delves into the depth of life from the perspective of a shallow, sheltered woman. Annalee Chambers has been raised to pay attention to all aspects of society, particularly the appearance of success. Being cultured and socially-educated, she’s not really prepared to work in one of the poorest sections of town. And she’s really not expecting to find such joy intertwined with such poverty.

Having my story set in my hometown has some fun aspects. I got to handpick the homes for the main characters and the locations for the after-school program. And even now when I drive past some of those places, I get all excited about the story again.1024px-Dallas_One_Arts_Plaza_1-150x150

For instance, I chose a particular building downtown to be CJ’s (the hero’s) condo. It’s in One Arts Plaza. This condo was for sale when I was writing the book so I was able to download actual pictures of the place including the view from its southeast facing patio. You’ll laugh, but I don’t drive by that building without looking up to the 18th floor and half expecting to see CJ standing there.

AIN’T MISBEHAVING goes much deeper than only the setting, though. It was written a number of years ago, so many that I barely remembered the storyline. But when I started editing, I was moved to tears again and again. These characters are so real, and I would love to meet them!

I hope you’ll enjoy AIN’T MISBEHAVING and watch for Annalee and CJ to have an extra special cameo part in Book 2 of the Dallas Duets, PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ.

Blog Stops

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 27

Janices book reviewsJanuary 27

Remembrancy, January 28

Mary Hake, January 28

Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 29

Inklings and NotionsJanuary 29

Texas Book-aholicJanuary 30

Carpe Diem, January 31

A Baker’s Perspective, February 1

Multifarious, February 2

Daysong ReflectionsFebruary 2

Bibliophile Reviews, February 3

proud to be an autism mom, February 4

Power of Words, February 4 (spotlight)

A Greater YesFebruary 5

Reading is my Super Power, February 5 (Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 6

margaret kazmierczak, February 6 (interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, February 7 (Guest review from Mindy Houng)

BigreadersiteFebruary 8

Avid Reader Book Reviews, February 8

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, February 9

Pursuing StacieFebruary 9



To celebrate her tour, Marji is giving away a grand prize of Dallas chocolates, Texas snack box, and a packet of Bluebonnet seeds!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

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